United Parcel Service is an American multinational company who offer an array of complex services. However, there seems to be one thing about UPS that consumers are constantly trying to clarify: do they deliver your stuff to standard PO boxes or not! The answer is that, unfortunately, they don’t.
This article takes a look at the UPS delivery options, in particular the question of PO box deliveries: what they are, why UPS don’t use them, and what you can do to solve the issue.
Will UPS Deliver To A PO Box?
UPS does not deliver to a PO box. Only United States Postal Service (USPS) delivers to PO boxes. UPS will, however, deliver to a PO box that has a ‘street address’.
To learn more about UPS and PO boxes, keep reading…
Why Won’t UPS Deliver To PO Boxes?
United Parcel Service has a policy that they will not deliver to PO boxes. This is because UPS and the Postal Service are two entirely different companies.
It seems that if UPS want to deliver items to a post office box, then someone needs to pay postage on the items first – and UPS is not going to pay for that.
PO Boxes are for the exclusive use of the Postal Service and not for items delivered through other services.
However, there is an exception to this: citizens and companies who hold Private Mail boxes (rather than PO boxes) are able to receive shipment from other carries such as UPS (and FedEx). This occurs through the use of private arrangements.
Does UPS Deliver To PO Boxes With Street Addresses?
United Parcel Service will deliver to PO Boxes that include a proper “street address”. This refers to a particular street address format that is required to clarify that the items are being “delivered” rather than “posted”.
The only agency that can legally deliver mail to a PO Box is the Postal Service itself. UPS need a “physical” address for deliveries.
Consumers have found that if they provide a “street address” format, the delivery can be accomplished.
Basically, all you do to format your address is to write your name, the street address of the post office with your PO Box number as the “unit” (or house) number. Consumers have advised that this method is perfectly acceptable to both UPS and the Postal Service.
What Happens If You Have A UPS Delivery Coming To Your PO Box?
If you know you something in transit with UPS, and the delivery address you gave them is a standard PO Box address, there is no need to panic.
First of all, when the transaction was being made, you would have been asked to provide a pone number. This number will be used by UPS to contact you for a delivery address they can use – a friend’s or family member’s address, for example.
If you can’t provide one, you’ll have to arrange to pick your package up at a local UPS or retail location, which may be a little inconvenient for you.
Sometimes your local post office may agree to accept and hold UPS deliveries for you (with no charge to either party). However, this is up to the discretion of staff and will probably depend very much on how busy they are and how often you ask for the favour.
Therefore, it’s best not to rely on this option.
How Can You Get UPS To Deliver To Your PO Box?
There are a couple of ways you can make sure your delivery will arrive at your PO Box. One of these is to use a “street address”, and the other is to shop with companies which use a service called SurePost.
Providing a clear street address is vital for UPS to be able to deliver your goods. When you purchase a PO Box, ask the post office staff about enrolling in the “street address version” feature. It’s a feature which should be available as part of the purchase of the PO Box.
SurePost is a shipping service provided by United Parcel Services which aims to drive down the “last mile” costs of the shipping process.
If you ordered a package from Amazon, for example, and Amazon used SurePost for the delivery, then you will be able to receive it using a PO Box.
Anyone can use SurePost, and many large e-commerce businesses (such as Amazon) have been purchasing the service for some time.
If neither of these options suit you, consider having your purchases delivered to a friend’s address or to a work address.
Want to learn more about UPS? Check out our related article to learn if UPS delivers Amazon packages and does UPS sell stamps?
Although consumer information for the UPS services is stated clearly on their website, it is not so easy to find out exactly what kind of delivery address UPS require in order to deliver your packages efficiently. Fortunately, the answer is out there – it just takes a little chasing down.
- Always include a current phone number in your delivery information
- Check for the SurePost option when shopping online
- Make sure you have “street address” enabled with your PO Box
- Always check the delivery methods before finalizing any online purchase transactions
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